Betting sponsors to face new bans in the UK by 2023

Betting firms are likely to disappear from the front of football jerseys in the UK, as the government is almost certain to impose further advertising restrictions

The white paper the government will release by the end of 2021 will affect a number of clubs from the Premier League, Championship, as well as clubs from the lower leagues. Currently, nine out of 20 EPL clubs feature a gambling sponsor on their shirt fronts, while six teams in the Championship do also.

Gambling logos appear up to 700 times a match, according to recent research.

Another reform that is reported to become part of the white paper issued by the British government is an outright ban on VIP schemes, as all other measures to date seem to be ineffective to tackle the immoral practice which intensifies gambling harm.

Further, the loophole that allows foreign betting firms to advertise on British football teams’ shirts and pitchside hoardings is likely to be scrapped as part of government plans to reduce gambling’s hold on the game.

But banning them would be concerning for the EFL, according to its chief executive, Trevor Birch, and could have a substantial impact on Football League finances.

Following the release of the white paper, there will be a period of three months for consultation before the proposed bill goes to Parliament, which means that any change is unlikely to get implemented before 2023, giving time to leagues and teams to make the required adjustments.

FIFA video game sets up children for a lifetime of gambling

Children who play the FIFA football video game are being set up for a lifetime of gambling addiction, experts warned.

The video game contains a feature where users buy player packs or loot boxes, costing up to £80, with a lucky dip of footballers.

Research suggests about one in four children end up addicted to buy player packs to boost their chance of success on the game.

Some splurge thousands of pounds as they get trapped in a vicious circle of trying to secure valuable and rare players.

One in six children say they have stolen their parents’ money to buy players – with some families having to remortgage to cover the costs.

The FIFA games are classed as suitable for children aged three and above and there are no legal or age restrictions on spending. Many youngsters report hiding their addiction from family.

The Government is under mounting pressure to ban their use by under-18s, as has already happened in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Etain CEO believes AI can prevent gambling addiction

Entain is one of the UK’s most successful online gambling companies and an increasingly important player in the global expansion of digital betting, including in the US.

In the U.K., the company is piloting a system called Advanced Responsibility & Care (ARC) that is designed to use machine learning to spot warning signs of problematic betting behaviour before a player gets into trouble.

ARC allows the company to intervene with players in real-time, while they are using a betting app, suggesting they set a deposit limit or take a break, says Grainne Hurst, Entain’s director of regulation and safer gaming.

If the player ignores warnings, the company can, again in real-time, cut the player off, preventing the person from betting at all for a 24-hour period. It can then impose further 24-hour breaks, or ban them from using the app completely if the problem behaviour persists.

These real-time interventions have already been rolled out across some, but not all, of Etain’s British brands. The company has promised that if ARC is successful in Britain, it will roll the system out internationally.

Entain is currently being pursued by sports betting giant DraftKings, which has offered $22.4 billion in an attempt to buy the company.
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